BEA Recap: A Great Trip!
I smile when I think about my trip to New York for BEA last week. All went well, and I met so many nice book people. When I was back in the green room before the signing, munching a peppermint candy and admitting I’d neglected to bring a pen, one of the Macmillan staff showed me a picture she’d just snapped of people lined up to get a signed copy of The Vault of Dreamers, and I was stunned. The line was long, as in, it went around the corner, as in, after I signed for an hour, we had to move to an overflow table where I could keep signing for another twenty minutes. We gave away 96 of the 100 books we’d brought.
The best thing about the signing was how nice people were. I met readers, bloggers, school librarians, public library librarians, booksellers, fellow writers, and teachers. Some had come to BEA from as far as the United Kingdom and Australia. One 12-year-old blogger, Xander Christou, had come from Texas after he began a GoFundMe to raise donations for the trip. Moxie, anyone? A few familiar faces came through the line, too, and I had the fun of meeting Jaclyn Dolamore, a writer friend I’ve known online for years but never before seen in person. It was great to be able to introduce some of them to Katie Fee, from the Macmillan marketing team, and Simon Boughton, my publisher, who were at the signing with me.
Afterward, I had an hour to visit with Kirby Kim, my agent, who impressed me with his purple socks. We had a chance to catch each other up on our families and kick around a few ideas, which is always fun.
Then I went to Macmillan’s media lunch at Etcetera, Etcetera on 44th Street, where I had a chance to talk with a few more book people from around the country. Conversation drifted from books we’re excited about and whether we can bear to go cry through the movie of The Fault in Our Stars, to our favorite characters in Nashville (mine is Juliette Barnes). Bookseller Patty Norman told me that when parents let their children go independently to Petaluma, CA, they tell the kids that if they ever have any trouble, they should just go into Copperfield’s Books. They’ll be safe there. It was a great example of an independent bookstore that is part of a nurturing, vibrant community. I’d like to think that’s what our larger book community is doing for kids everywhere.
I’m thankful to Macmillan to bringing me to BEA, and I hope everyone who picked up a copy of The Vault of Dreamers enjoys the story. Special greetings to the bloggers who kindly gave me their cards. Here are their blogs: